NO ESCAPE - Mary Burton
A Perfect 10
Austin, Texas - The Present
Some years ago Texas Ranger Brody Winchester caught the serial killer Harvey Day Smith. Smith is on death row, but his lung cancer will probably kill him first. His modus operandi was burying young women alive. There are still three murders Smith is presumed to have committed, but he has never revealed the locations of the bodies. He refuses to speak on the subject to anyone but Dr. Jolene Granger. Granger wrote a paper on Smith, which might have attracted the killer's interest; but as Brody approaches the doctor's, doubtful of his welcome, he knows Smith is probably aware of the other connection. Fourteen years ago Brody divorced Jo Granger when they were both in college. Memories of his last time face-to-face with Jo make him cringe at his past insensitive behavior. He had been a self-absorbed selfish jock, but he has changed a lot since he was twenty-one.
The sight of Brody still makes Jo's body react, but this is business and she will keep her encounters professional. Their brief marriage ended with her miscarriage and nearly destroyed Jo. She is stronger now, more determined and self-sufficient. Jo does the interview, and while Smith manages to get into her head, he does give up the location of the bodies. Since she is involved in this investigation, Jo goes with Brody to the graves site. They find the three bodies plus a fourth one buried only recently. The apprentice Smith spoke of during his interview with Jo is now following in his mentor's footsteps. The ramifications of Jo's meeting with Smith continue to grow as Smith's hints and his lawyer lead Jo to believe her mother is somehow involved; meanwhile, someone is stalking Jo.
The tense physical and emotional situations and Jo's and Brody's connection to each other add to the story's mystery and offer a super suspense story entwined in a bitter-sweet, once-again romance. Smith and his apprentice are twisted psychopaths who make the reader wonder if they were born so evil or made that way. Jo's family becomes enmeshed in the story, and Brody's Texas Ranger connections also add interest. Ranger Jim Beck and Lara from THE SEVENTH VICTIM add a side story while Brody struggles with his past, and Jo skirmishes with her family. All these situations make NO ESCAPE a Perfect 10.